If you’re a fan of the Home Alone franchise, then you’re in for a treat. This guide offers a detailed overview of all the films in the series, from how they were made to what critics had to say about them.
We’ll also take a look at some of the behind-the-scenes secrets and trivia that fans will love. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this comprehensive guide to the Home Alone films!
How many Home Alone films are there?
So, how many Home Alone movies are there so far? There are currently six Home Alone movies in total. Four of these films are part of a narrative arc featuring the same characters, while the other two are standalone iterations.
- Home Alone (1990) [Chris Columbus]
- Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) [Chris Columbus]
- Home Alone 3 (1997) [Raja Gosnell]
- Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002) [Rod Daniel]
- Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012) [Peter Hewitt]
- Home Sweet Home Alone (2021) [Dan Mazer]
Should I watch the Home Alone movies in order?
If you’re looking to watch the Home Alone films in order, we recommend starting with the first movie and then moving on to the next one after that. This is because the first four movies in the series all follow the same characters and story arc. The fifth movie, Home Alone: The Holiday Heist, is a standalone film, while the sixth and most recent movie, Home Sweet Home Alone, is a reboot.
Home Alone (1990)
When 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left behind by his family during a Christmas vacation to Paris, he has to rely on his wits to defend his home from two bungling burglars. With the help of some ingenious traps, Kevin manages to outsmart the thieves and save the day.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
When Kevin accidentally ends up alone in New York City, he has to outsmart the Wet Bandits, Harry, and Marv, all over again to save his family’s home and Christmas. This time around, the McCallister family tries to track Kevin down by remembering Kevin’s fondness for Christmas trees and finds him making a wish at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
Home Alone 3 (1997)
Young Alex Pruitt (Alex D. Linz) is left home alone because he’s ill. Meanwhile, international spies are sent by their boss to obtain a secret microchip. They manage to retrieve the chip and hide it in a remote-control car, but a luggage mixup at the airport leads to the car falling into Alex’s hands. When Alex finds out about the chip and the baddies who are looking for it he sets up traps in his home.
Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002)
Life is never simple for Kevin McCallister (Mike Weinberg). His parents have split up and he now lives with his mom. However, he decides to spend Christmas with his dad at the mansion of his father’s rich girlfriend, Natalie. Robber Marv, one of the villains from the first two movies, wants revenge and partners up with a new criminal named Vera to target Natalie’s mansion.
Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012)
Ten-year-old Finn Baxter (Christian Martyn) is convinced that his new family home in Maine is haunted and sets up an elaborate network of booby traps to catch any paranormal intruders. However, Finn is unaware that a trio of art thieves has targeted the family’s house. Now, with a fierce snowstorm outside and their parents at a Christmas party, Finn and his sister Alexis have to thwart the burglars’ plans.
Home Sweet Home Alone (2021)
Max Mercer (Archie Yates), has been left behind while his family holidays in Japan. But when a married couple attempting to retrieve a priceless heirloom spots the Mercer family’s home, it is up to Max to protect everything the family owns from the trespassers. Hilarity ensues, and despite a few close calls, Max eventually learns the true magic of being home for Christmas.
What do the critics say about the Home Alone movies?
Critics have generally responded positively to the Home Alone franchise. The first movie, Home Alone, earned $476 million at the global box office. The critical response was mixed but mostly positive, with many praising Macaulay Culkin’s performance.
The second movie, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, was another huge success, earning $359 million worldwide. The critical reaction was again mixed but mostly positive, with some reviewers calling it “even better” than the original.
The third and fourth movies in the series were not as successful as the first two but still fared well commercially. However, the critical response to both of these movies was negative overall with critics noting Macaulay Culkin’s absence from the franchise as “a huge loss”.
Reception of the fifth and sixth movies in the franchise, Home Alone: The Holiday Heist and Home Sweet Home Alone, has been overwhelmingly critical so far, with the “sluggish pace” of the film and overreliance on “slapstick violence” both coming under fire.
Home Alone Trivia
- Director of Home Alone (1990) Chris Columbus had no idea that Kevin McCallister’s screaming face would become one of the most iconic moments from the film.
- Real pigeons were used in the scene where the Sticky Bandits Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) are attacked by birds in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
- Home Alone 3 (1997) was Scarlett Johansson’s first major role – she stars as Molly Pruitt, Alex’s older sister.
- Despite the events of Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002) being based in Chicago, Illinois, the film was shot in Capetown, South Africa.
- Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012) is the only film in the entire series not to feature a character who the protagonist initially fears, and then later befriends.
- The first Home Alone film to premiere on a streaming platform is Home Sweet Home Alone (2021).
Which Home Alone film is your favorite?
Ultimately, the Home Alone films are still popular today because they know how to tap into the human fear of being alone. The classic Christmas setting creates a sense of nostalgia for many viewers, while the humor and slapstick violence keep younger audiences entertained. If you’re looking for some family-friendly holiday entertainment this year, consider watching one or all of these wonderfully entertaining films.